How often car battery replacement
The role of the battery
The battery have a double role:
- To provide the electrical power needed by the starter motor to start the engine.
- To supply power to the vehicle's consumers when the vehicle is stationary or under heavy load.
So, when you turn the key, your battery supplies power to your starter to start the engine. It will then be recharged by the alternator.
The circuits that consume energy from the battery when the engine is stopped are standby circuits such as the clock or central locking. But there are also comfort elements such as the car radio, GPS, etc... These elements require little effort on the part of the battery, but they discharge it if the battery is used for a long time. Leaving your headlights on overnight, for example, can drain your battery and prevent you from starting your car the next day.
The battery can also be strained if your alternator is not enough to supply power to your consumers. This may be the case if you don't have a recent car and you are in a situation where your engine is not running sufficiently to provide power to the alternator. If, for example, you're in a traffic jam at night in the rain in very cold weather and listen to the radio, your engine will idle and need the battery to maintain the consumers (radio, brushes, heater and headlights).
Why change your battery?
A tired battery causes difficult starts, which can lead to a breakdown, starting becomes impossible.
It is also an element that is particularly subject to changes in temperature; a weak battery will therefore not withstand high heat or a cold spell.
When should you change your battery?
A battery has an average lifespan of 4 years, but it is advisable to change it only at the first signs of fatigue.
The battery can wear out prematurely in some cases:
- If it remains inactive, it will be discharged to a point of no return.
- If the battery is overloaded (high number of starting cycles, unusual consumers).
- If it undergoes large changes in temperature
- If the alternator fails
What are the warning signs?
Some batteries are equipped with a warning light indicating their status. This will allow you to detect when to replace them.
An aging battery will affect your car's ability to start much more smoothly. It is therefore better to replace the battery to avoid failure.
Changing a starter battery: how do I replace it?
Not being able to start does not necessarily mean that your battery is to blame. It could be your glow plugs if you have a diesel engine and it's cold, the starter motor, the alternator or other elements. You can use a JUMP STARTER DEAD BATTERY to try to restor your old battery
So there are a few things you should check first:
- The condition of your terminals (oxidized or loose terminals)
- The voltage of your battery (12.72 Volts charged). Below 12 volts, it will not start but can be recharged.
- Below 11.52 volts, the battery is completely discharged and unrecoverable. However, you can still try to recharge it very quickly if the voltage is the result of a consumer that has been connected for too long (e.g. headlights).
- The correct operation of the starter
- The correct operation of the alternator
- That a defective consumer has not emptied the entire battery (e.g. the trunk or glove box lighting remains on).
- Voltage check at rest
How do you change your battery?
First of all, you need to check that the size of the battery corresponds to the space reserved for it. To do this, simply check that its Length and Height are the same as your old battery. Only when you have made this check will you be able to connect your new battery. For a battery to be taken back, it must not have been plugged in.
Today, more and more vehicles are equipped with multiplexed systems*. For these reasons, after switching off the ignition, a standby time for the multiple ECUs must be respected. It is therefore sometimes necessary to wait several minutes before disconnecting the battery (see the recommendation in the user manual or from a professional).
* Multiplexing: Multiplexing is a technique that passes several pieces of information through a single transmission medium. Its role is to share the same information between several electrical or electronic components (locking, wiping, window wipers, headlamps, active or passive safety, engine management, etc.) of the vehicle.
There is also a memory backup box to maintain a minimum voltage when changing the battery. This can be very useful if you don't have the code for your car radio.
Removing the battery
There is always an order to follow when you disconnect the battery. First disconnect the negative (-) terminal first and then the positive (+) terminal.starting with the positive (+) terminal, there is a risk of a short circuit with the disassembly tool.
Note that on some vehicles, it is mandatory to first remove the positive (+) terminal because the negative (-) terminal is not accessible. In general it is not necessary to have tools for this type of assembly.
It is also recommended to clean the battery terminals before installation.
Removing the battery
Installing the battery
There is also an order to follow when installing the battery. Always connect the positive (+) terminal and then the negative (-) terminal.
Do not leave the contact to avoid arcing.
The positive terminal is always thicker than the negative terminal. For this reason, the negative terminal lug must always be screwed in more.
Please observe the safety instructions on the battery during installation:
- Do not smoke
- Do not place any tool on both terminals at the same time.
- Observe assembly/disassembly orders
- observe the safety symbols
Battery recycling is mandatory. Please make sure you dispose of your used battery free of charge at the following collection points:
waste collection centres or energy recovery centres
battery vendors (supermarkets, garages, car centres, etc.). This trade-in is not conditional on the purchase of a new battery.
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